Forty-year-old Akhil Suman, a middle-level manager in a consumer goods company, just secured a promotion and a good increment, thanks to the country’s aviation boom.
The reason: He has reduced the company’s travel budget by 15 per cent by tying up with low-cost airlines. He is among many in the corporate sector who are saving their company’s money by making employees shift from full service carriers and give up fringe services.
“For a year now, we have moved promotional tours to budget airlines. Usually, domestic travel is not more than two hours so one can do without the luxuries of a full service carrier,” said Suman.
An increasing number of tie-ups between corporates and low cost carriers proves the trend. The number of corporate fliers on Spicejet has increased enormously, from 2.5 per cent in 2006-07 to 22 per cent in 2007-08.
“With improved on-time performance, better connectivity and convenient timings, we have more business travellers. For us, this segment comprises a large chunk of entrepreneurs and business travellers from tier II and III cities,” said a Deccan spokesperson.
Corporate fliers too don’t mind the shift. Of 500 corporate fliers surveyed by Frost and Sullivan in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chennai, 63 per cent said they preferred value to luxury.